Europe and Asia Down; Weak Open Expected for U.S.

by: SA Editors


U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -2.20; 1,299.80
NASDAQ: -2.00; 1,564.50
DOW: -11.00; 11,347.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: -0.11%; 16,163.03 (-18.14)
HANG SENG: -0.36%; 17,088.39 (-61.36)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.12%; 5,082.30 (+6.10)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.83%; 11,406.65 (-95.97)

FTSE 100: -0.35%; 5,881.70 (-20.90)
CAC 40: -0.19%; 5,118.63 (-9.70)
XETRA-DAX: -0.39%; 5,795.43 (-22.98)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -0.85%; $72.48 (-$0.62)
Gold: +0.08%; $634.50 (+$0.50)
Natural Gas: +0.46%; $7.04 (+$0.03)
Silver: +1.59%; $12.460 (+$0.195)

Asian Headlines (via

PetroChina's First-Half Profit Climbs 29 Percent on Demand, Surging Prices PetroChina Co. (NYSE:PTR), the nation's largest oil company, said first-half profit rose 29 percent to a record on surging prices and demand for fuel in the world's fastest- growing major economy.

Japan's Trade Surplus Unexpectedly Narrows After Growth in Exports Slows Japan's trade surplus narrowed for a second month in July as export growth slowed and higher oil prices increased the value of imports.

BHP Billiton Second-Half Profit Rises 77 Percent to Record on Metal Prices BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP), the world's biggest mining company, posted a 77 percent increase in second- half profit, less than some analysts had forecast, and said growth in China's economy has peaked.

Asian Stocks Fall on Fed Banker's Rate Comments; Samsung Electronics Drops Asian stocks fell after a Federal Reserve banker said U.S. interest rates may need to rise to curb inflation in the world's largest economy. Exporters such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Hitachi Ltd. (HIT) led declines.

Wharf's Profit Unexpectedly Declines 1 Percent on Higher Borrowing Costs Wharf Holdings Ltd., one of Hong Kong's biggest office and retail landlords, said underlying first-half profit fell 1 percent on higher borrowing costs and lower profits from freight handling and telecommunications.

European Headlines (via

TNT to Sell Warehouse, Shipping Unit to Apollo Management for $1.9 Billion TNT NV (TP), Europe's second-biggest express-package delivery company, agreed to sell the division that manages warehouses and transports goods to Apollo Management LP for 1.48 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

BHP Billiton Earnings Rise 77 Percent, Less Than Some Analysts Estimated BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world's biggest mining company, posted a 77 percent increase in second- half profit, less than some analysts had forecast, and said growth in China's economy has peaked.

European Stocks Decline as BHP Billiton Earnings Disappoint; Nestle Gains European stocks fell, pushed lower by mining and technology companies, after profit at BHP Billiton missed estimates and National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:NSM) of the U.S. cut a forecast for revenue.

Nestle Earnings Rise 11 Percent on Higher Prices; Shares Advance to Record Nestle SA, the world's largest food company, said first-half earnings rose 11 percent after it increased prices for products ranging from Nescafe instant coffee to Buitoni pasta and used its bargaining power to control operating costs. The shares advanced to a record.

Hungary May Adopt Euro During 2011 at the Earliest, Finance Minister Says Hungary may able to adopt the euro in 2011 at the earliest as it will satisfy the European Union's criteria for euro-entry for the first time in 2009, Finance Minister Janos Veres said.

U.S. Headlines (via

Weyerhaeuser, Domtar to Combine Fine-Paper Businesses in $3.3 Billion Deal Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE:WY), the world's biggest lumber company, and Domtar Inc. (DTC) agreed to a $3.3 billion combination of their fine-paper businesses.

IBM Agrees to Purchase Internet Security Systems for About $1.3 Billion International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), the world's largest provider of computer services, agreed to buy Internet Security Systems Inc. for about $1.3 billion.

Home Resales in U.S. Probably Fell in July to Lowest Level in Two Years Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. probably fell to a two-year low in July, as higher mortgage rates damped demand, economists said before an industry report today.

Stock-Index Futures Fall; National Semiconductor Shares Decline in Europe U.S. stock-index futures fell before a report that may show sales of previously owned homes slid to a two-year low, adding to evidence the economy is losing steam.

Rambus Loses Attempt to Win Early Trial Date for Patent Suit Against Hynix Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) lost a ruling in its patent dispute with Hynix Semiconductor Inc., delaying the final phase of the case until the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issues its penalty in an antitrust lawsuit against Rambus.

Hurricane Season Begins Peak Period as Forecasters Warn: Don't Be Fooled After last year's record-setting Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, some U.S. forecasters said 2006 could be bad as well. The count so far: four tropical systems strong enough to be named, including the just-christened Debby.